Not knowing an industry is a challenge many executives face when they climb the ladder, so we thought it would be good to speak to someone who overcame that challenge to deliver some incredible results. Our guest this week is Sean Simmons, COO of Fallon Solutions: a category leader in the trade services industry.
Sean’s role is wide ranging. He has a lot of people-facing duties including training, recruitment and customer services, but he also analyses things at a macro level using highly sophisticated data modelling.
Sean’s history is even more wide ranging. He used his experience in managing rock bands to help him land a role at Amazon during the boom times of the late 90s, and he helped scale whatif.com to the point of acquisition by Expedia for $280m. Sean came on the radar of Arete because of his persistence in landing his current role. He was repeatedly turned down because he lacked the relevant industry experience, but as you will hear, he is living proof of what can be achieved with lateral thinking and persistence.
- The definition of ‘category leader’
- How education inspired and empowered Sean
- How Sean used his experience in music management to help him get in the door at Amazon
- What it’s like to work for a founder-led business
- The implications of being publicly listed
- How Sean managed to land his COO role despite not having the desired experience
- How Sean has compensated for not having industry experience in his day-to-day work
- How long it took Sean to get up to speed with an unknown industry
- What an MBA did for Sean
- How Sean is creating recurring loyalty in customers